2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 200. Metropolitan sewerage districts.
200.59 User charges for sewer operation.
200.59 User charges for sewer operation.
(1) Declaration of policy. In the interpretation and application of this section, it is declared to be the policy of this state to authorize a district to institute a system of user charges which is designed to recover all or part of the operating costs to the extent required by federal or state law in order to obtain federal or state funding from a user of the sewerage system in the proportion to which the user's waste water discharge contributes to such costs. It is intended that the system be instituted to satisfy but not exceed eligibility requirements of public grants under Title II of the water pollution control act (33 USC 1251 et seq.) or under any other state or federal law and to satisfy but not exceed any other applicable state or federal law requiring such a system.
(2) Collection of charges as user fees. A district may, as a complete or partial alternative to any other method of recovering operating costs:
(a) Compute a uniform schedule of charges based on operating expenses to be recovered from users under this subsection.
(b) Adopt the uniform schedule of charges computed under par. (a). The commission may modify the schedule periodically.
(c) Submit the schedule adopted under par. (b) and every modification to every municipality within the sewerage service area as early in every calendar year as practicable.
(d) Bill periodically each municipality within the sewerage service area for the charges due under this subsection.
(3) Factors in charge schedules. In computing a charge schedule under sub. (2) (a), the sewerage commission shall require each user to pay the proportion of total operating cost of the system incurred by the transmission and treatment of the user's wastewater. In determining such proportional costs, the sewerage commission shall consider such factors, without limitation because of enumeration, as strength, volume and delivery flow rate characteristics of each user's sewage.
(4) Collection of fees by municipalities. Every sanitary district organized under subch. IX of ch. 60 or metropolitan sewerage district organized under subch. I billed by a district under sub. (2) shall in turn bill every city, town or village served by the sanitary district or metropolitan sewerage district organized under subch. I. Every city, town and village billed by a district under sub. (2), by a sanitary district or metropolitan sewerage district organized under subch. I under this subsection shall collect such charges from the individual sewer system users in the city, town or village and shall promptly remit the same to the district. The district may adopt rules for the establishment and administration of collection procedures and the settlement of such collections with the district as required by this section. Under such rules the district may provide for reimbursement of the municipality for the expense of collecting late payments of charges. Each municipality shall pay the district in full within 45 days after receiving a bill from the district. The district or, if the district does not act, every municipality is empowered to levy a penalty for late payment by the user to the municipality. Any city, town or village may collect under s. 66.0821 (7) any charge which is due under this section and which is delinquent. In the event that any municipality does not remit such charges to the district within 45 days of the billing date, the district may borrow moneys, repayable in not longer than 18 months, sufficient to offset such uncollected charges.
(5) Review by public service commission.
(a) Except as provided under s. 200.41 (2), upon complaint to the public service commission by any user that charges, rules and practices under this section are unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, according to the standards and criteria which the commission is required to follow under state or federal law, including, without limitation because of enumeration, this section, 33 USC 1251 et seq. and ch. 283, or upon complaint of a holder of a revenue bond or other evidence of debt, secured by a mortgage on the sewerage system or any part thereof or pledge of the income of sewerage service charges, that charges are inadequate, the public service commission shall investigate the complaint. If sufficient cause therefor appears, the public service commission shall set the matter for a public hearing upon 10 days' notice to the complainant and the commission. After the hearing, if the public service commission determines that the charges, rules or practices complained of are unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, it shall determine and by order fix reasonable charges, rules and practices and shall make such other order respecting such complaint as may be just and reasonable. The proceedings under this subsection shall be governed, as far as applicable, by ss. 196.26 to 196.40. The commission may submit the factual data, reports and analyses considered by it in establishing the charges, rules or practices subject to a complaint under this subsection. The public service commission shall give due weight to such data, reports and analyses. Judicial review of the determination of the public service commission may be had by any person aggrieved in the manner prescribed under ch. 227. If any user pays a charge and the public service commission or court, on appeal from the public service commission, finds such charge, after reviewing a complaint filed under this subsection, to be excessive, the district shall refund to the user the excess plus the interest thereon computed at the rate then paid by the district for borrowing funds for a term of one year or less.
(b) For purposes of this subsection, “user" includes a licensed disposer, as defined in s. 281.49 (1) (b), who disposes of septage in the district's facilities under a disposal plan under s. 281.49 (5) and initiates under s. 281.49 (11) (d) a review under par. (a) of a disputed septage disposal fee by the public service commission.
(c) If the public service commission determines in a proceeding under par. (a) that a septage disposal fee is unreasonable, the public service commission shall determine and fix under par. (a) a reasonable fee that conforms with s. 281.49 (5) (c) 4.
(d) Notwithstanding the statutes referenced in par. (a) governing a proceeding under par. (a), s. 66.0821 (5) (e) applies to the public service commission's allocation of its assessment under s. 196.85 (1) for any expense of the public service commission for a proceeding under par. (a) that is initiated under s. 281.49 (11) (d).
NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 347, which affected this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.